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How Can I Replace My Missing Teeth?

What is Edentulism?

Edentulism, or tooth loss, is irreversible and often the final result of dental disease (Emami, Freitas de Souza, Kabawat, & Feine, 2013). Edentulism affects approximately 9 million people in the United States, with 25% of adults over 60 years of age experiencing tooth loss (Emami et al., 2013). Partial edentulism can be defined as the loss of at least one tooth or multiple teeth; complete edentulism is defined as the loss of all teeth. Missing teeth can cause adjacent teeth to drift or rotate. Additionally, poor occlusion (bite) due to missing teeth can cause unnecessary strain on remaining teeth and the temporomandibular (TMJ) joint resulting in cracked teeth and
jaw pain.

How can I prevent edentulism?

Tooth loss can occur for several reasons including periodontal (gum) disease, tooth decay (cavities), or trauma. Good oral hygiene, such as twice daily brushing and once daily flossing, can significantly reduce your chances of developing periodontal disease or tooth decay. You can further reduce your risk of tooth decay with a diet low in sugar and/or carbohydrates. Additionally, it is important to see your dentist regularly for early diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease or tooth decay. Prompt treatment of dental disease is important to prevent progression to the point of tooth loss. Even with all these precautions, edentulism can still occur due to trauma. A properly fitted mouthguard can protect your teeth from trauma when playing sports or from trauma related to clenching/grinding.

How can edentulism be treated?

Multiple options exist from treatment of edentulism including implants, bridges, and dentures. Dental implants are an excellent choice to replace one or multiple teeth, are the most like a natural tooth, and have the best long-term prognosis. Bridges are another solution for replacing missing teeth. This procedure requires preparing the teeth adjacent to the site of the missing tooth and then permanently cementing the bridge. A bridge requires daily flossing under the replacement or “fake” tooth. Partial and complete dentures are removable appliances to replace
missing teeth. They are the most cost-effective option; however, they are often the most difficult to tolerate and may require several adjustments to continue adequate use. It is important to remove and clean dentures nightly to maintain proper oral health. In some cases, implant retained dentures may be an option for a more secure fit. Please visit the links below for further information on implants, bridges, and dentures.

How can Crystal Coast Dentistry help?

Dr. Jeffrey Scott and his team can help you prevent edentulism through regular examinations and early diagnosis of dental disease concerns. Examinations are recommended every six months for individuals with good oral health or more frequently for individuals with existing dental disease concerns such as periodontal disease. Dr. Scott is very skilled in all aspects of edentulism treatment including implants, bridges, and dentures. Additionally, Dr. Scott can custom fit mouth guards for tooth protection to prevent tooth loss. Don’t hesitate to contact Crystal Coast Dentistry with any questions on edentulism or to schedule your consultation to replace missing
teeth.

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Reference: Emami, E., Freitas de Souza, R., Kabawat, M., & Feine, J. S. (2013). The impact of edentulism on oral and general health. International Journal of Dentistry, 2013(498305), 1-7.  https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/498305

Diabetes and Oral Health

Can Diabetes affect your teeth?

According to the American Dental Association, individuals with diabetes have a much greater chance of losing teeth or developing periodontal disease over their lifetime. In fact, 25% of people with diabetes also have periodontal disease. Additionally, poor oral health is associated with an increased risk for developing diabetes and makes controlling diabetic conditions, such as blood sugar levels, much more difficult. Maintaining good oral health may even help lower your A1C levels.

What can I do to prevent periodontal disease?

When excessive bacteria-containing plaque is left on the teeth on a our bodies respond with an inflammatory process.  Excellent oral hygiene can prevent the overgrowth of bacteria that will lead to periodontal disease. Daily oral hygiene habits should always include:

  • Brushing twice daily for a full 2 minutes with a soft toothbrush
  • Flossing below the gumline once daily

Additional, oral hygiene habits that effectively remove plaque and kill bacteria include:

  • Using an electric toothbrush
  • Rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash

What are the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, is caused when an overgrowth of bacteria in the mouth lead to inflammation of the gum tissues.  If plaque is not removed daily, it can harden into a substance called calculus or tartar. This calculus cannot be effectively removed with brushing and flossing alone.  Some of the signs and symptoms of periodontal or gum disease include:

  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding gums
  • Swollen, sore, or red gums
  • Receding gums or gums that are pulling away from the teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • A change in bite alignment

The only way to know for sure if you have periodontal disease is to have an examination by a dentist or dental hygienist. The current stand of care to properly assess periodontal conditions is:

  • A full mouth series of dental x-rays at least once every 5 years
  • A full mouth periodontal probing assessment annually

What if I already have periodontal disease?

Effective treatment of periodontal disease is possible. The first step in treatment is removal of the plaque, calculus, and bacteria. This procedure is usually completed by a dental hygienist in as little as two appointments. The dentist and hygienist will then make further recommendations, personalized to your individual needs, for homecare and follow-up care.

How can Crystal Coast Dentistry help?

Dr. Jeff Scott and his team are highly qualified in the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease.  Their state-of-the-art digital imaging software and detailed periodontal charting regiment will provide you with a comprehensive assessment of your periodontal condition. Please don’t hesitate to contact Crystal Coast Dentistry with additional questions about periodontal disease or diabetes. Let us help you control and maintain your diabetes with excellent oral health.

Click to call from mobile 252-393-8168

Caring for Our Eastern NC Community

North Carolina Mission of Mercy Dental logoCrystal Coast Dentistry was delighted to take part in the North Carolina Missions of Mercy (NCMOM) clinic held in New Bern, North Carolina on October 27-28, 2017. Our team from Cape Carteret, NC joined other dental professionals to provide free dental care to over 800 patients from Eastern North Carolina.

NCMOM is a program organized by the North Carolina Dental Society (NCDS) and operates throughout North Carolina. Each clinic is designed to be a full dental clinic with digital x-ray, sterilization, and all instrumentation and supplies. Free dental services are offered to patients who are at 200 percent below the poverty line. According to the NCDS website, over 55,000 North Carolinians have been helped since 2003. The next NCMOM clinic will be offered in Fayetteville in 2018.

Watch for Dr. Scott in the Video from WCTI Here.

At Crystal Coast Dentistry we work to provide excellent dental care for patients of all ages and income levels. For those without Dental Insurance, we have created a special In-House Dental Benefits Plan. Our office in Cape Carteret, NC is conveniently located for those living near the Crystal Coast, NC.

Crystal Coast Dentistry’s In-House Dental Plans

UPDATE 03/08/17 revised link to document.

The ADA recommends regular dental exams and cleanings each year to prevent oral disease and tooth loss. Many people desire to have healthy teeth and gums and want to know how to fit dental care into their budget. Two common options are dental insurance and Care Credit, a type of dental care credit card. We understand these options may not be available or the best options for everyone. That is why at Crystal Coast Dentistry we have created an In-House Dental Discount Plan.

Frequently people question the necessity and feasibility of dental insurance for their dental care needs. Traditional insurance plans require monthly premiums and co-payments that vary based on exam type and treatment received. Patients do not necessarily know what their financial responsibility will be until after treatment has been completed and their bill has been submitted to their insurance company.

Care Credit is used like traditional credit cards. Patients are responsible for the full cost of dental exams and treatments. Care Credit typically requires full payment within a limited time frame and involves an interest rate between 11.49 -23.49 %.

Our In-House Dental Discount Plan helps make dental care affordable for those who do not have insurance. With one annual membership fee, patients are eligible for 2 regular check-ups and cleanings, unlimited emergency visits, and a 30% discount off each customary fee for treatment procedures.

Other benefits of the In-House Dental Discount Plan include:

  • No waiting periods
  • No claim forms
  • No restrictions of treatment
  • No pre-determinations for treatment
  • And no age limitations

We strive to help our patients achieve and maintain excellent oral health while limiting confusion and anxiety over the cost of care through our In-House Dental Discount Plan.

Please review the In House Dental Benefits Plan and call to enroll today!